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Quiz about Copycat
Quiz about Copycat

Copycat Trivia Quiz


The celebrated 20th century art forger known as Elmyr de Hory (among his many pseudonyms) became so famous that copycats have forged his forgeries. His was a fascinating career.

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
337,112
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
849
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 76 (4/10), DocDRB (8/10), desertloca (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Little is known about the early life of Elmyr de Hory, as most details have only been made public in the biography "Fake!" by Clifford Irving. Why do many doubt the reliability of this information? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Not only do we know little of the early life of Elmyr de Hory, we are not even sure of his 'real' name, as he used many aliases at different stages of his career. Which of the following did he NOT use (as far as we know)? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In 1946, Elmyr de Hory sold his first fake to a friend who thought he was purchasing a drawing by what famous Spanish painter, known among other things as one of the founders of Cubism? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Elmyr de Hory discovered that he could get more money for his counterfeits when he moved from drawings to works in what medium? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. During the 1950s Elmyr de Hory gained a reputation as an art dealer that led to recognition on several fronts. In 1951, he was made an honorary citizen and given a key to the city by the mayor of what southern American city? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. According to some sources, one of the highlights of Elmyr de Hory's career as a counterfeiter was the sale of a 'Matisse' to the Fogg Art Museum, part of what famous Ivy League university? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In the context of his career, what was unusual about the sale of some art works by Elmyr de Hory to Chicago art dealer Joseph Faulkner in 1955? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. A Texas oil magnate named Algur Hurtle Meadows is believed to have had one of the world's largest private collections of fake paintings, although that was not his intention when purchasing them. What art dealer informed Meadows that almost all of the paintings in his private collection were counterfeit? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. During the last years of his life, Elmyr de Hory attained something of a celebrity status due to the publication of Clifford Irving's biography and the release of a film about his life called "F for Fake". No rosebuds were injured in the production of this film, the last major film to be released in the 20th century that was directed by what cinematic master? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. What percentage of the major contemporary artworks displayed in museums at the start of the 21st century are generally acknowledged as being the work of Elmyr de Hory rather than of the artist whose signature appears on them? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Little is known about the early life of Elmyr de Hory, as most details have only been made public in the biography "Fake!" by Clifford Irving. Why do many doubt the reliability of this information?

Answer: Irving was later involved in a hoax autobiography of Howard Hughes

In 1970, Clifford Irving contacted a publisher claiming that, based on Irving's 1969 biography of Elmyr de Hory, Howard Hughes had agreed to interviews that would lead to an authorized autobiography of the famous recluse. He produced forged letters agreeing to the arrangement, and wangled an advance of $750,000. The hoax was eventually exposed; Irving spent 17 months in prison for the fraud.

Given that both the author and the subject of the book "Fake!" are known for their prowess in deception, its information must be taken with a large grain of salt. For what it's worth, based on that book and other unauthoritative sources, he was apparently born in 1905 or 1906 in Hungary, and studied art in Budapest, Munich and Paris. A friendship with a suspected spy landed him in a Transylvanian jail, from which he was released during World War II, only to be sent to a concentration camp from which he escaped. He eventually returned to Paris, where he attempted to make a living as an artist.
2. Not only do we know little of the early life of Elmyr de Hory, we are not even sure of his 'real' name, as he used many aliases at different stages of his career. Which of the following did he NOT use (as far as we know)?

Answer: Rumplestiltskin

Whether from choice or by necessity, the man usually referred to as Elmyr de Hory also used many pseudonyms, possibly as many as a hundred, according to Francois Reichenbach, the producer of a film on Elmyr's career. Some of these include minor variants such as Elmyr von Houry, Baron Elmyr Hoffman and Elemér Hoffmann, as well as such distinct names as L. E. Raynal, Louis Cassou, Joseph Dory, Joseph (or Elmyr) Dory-Boutin, and Elmyr Herzog.

The name 'Elmyr' is pronounced El-mere, with the stress on the second syllable.
3. In 1946, Elmyr de Hory sold his first fake to a friend who thought he was purchasing a drawing by what famous Spanish painter, known among other things as one of the founders of Cubism?

Answer: Pablo Picasso

Discouraged by his lack of success in selling his own work, and having realized that he had an uncanny ability to reproduce the drawing style of Picasso, Elmyr started selling sketches that purported to be by the Spanish master. This provided a steady source of income for him. In the economic climate of post-World War II Europe, when many people were selling off possessions to gain some financial security, there was little suspicion aroused by these sales.

El Greco was a Spanish Renaissance artist whose work is often considered as a precursor to Cubism and Expressionism, but he was not directly involved in either of these movements which developed well after his death in 1614. Dali and Miro are both most commonly associated with Surrealism. Pablo Picasso and the French artist Georges Braque are considered the founders of Cubism.
4. Elmyr de Hory discovered that he could get more money for his counterfeits when he moved from drawings to works in what medium?

Answer: Oil painting

The first stage of expansion was to add more artists to his repertoire, including Matisse, Modigliani and Renoir. Unlike most forgers, Elmyr did not copy known works, he created new works in the style of those he was imitating. Had they borne his own signature, they would not have been forgeries.

However, with his own signature they didn't sell. Adding oil paintings in the style of these artists (and others such as Braque, Bonnard and Degas) allowed him to reap larger profits for his work.
5. During the 1950s Elmyr de Hory gained a reputation as an art dealer that led to recognition on several fronts. In 1951, he was made an honorary citizen and given a key to the city by the mayor of what southern American city?

Answer: New Orleans

As well as this recognition of his work by the mayor of New Orleans, Elmyr was so well established as a dealer that he could ask for increasingly large prices for his works. He was hired by several museums to assist in restoration of their paintings, and even started to sell some of his own original work.

The first half of the 1950s was probably the most settled and successful phase of his career.
6. According to some sources, one of the highlights of Elmyr de Hory's career as a counterfeiter was the sale of a 'Matisse' to the Fogg Art Museum, part of what famous Ivy League university?

Answer: Harvard University

While pre-purchase checks had not revealed the fraud, authorities at the museum soon became suspicious about the painting's authenticity, and started an investigation that would snowball as other forgeries came to light. His greatest success was about to become the source of his ultimate downfall.

All of the universities listed have international reputations for excellence, but Harvard is the only one located in the United States, where all members of the Ivy League are found.
7. In the context of his career, what was unusual about the sale of some art works by Elmyr de Hory to Chicago art dealer Joseph Faulkner in 1955?

Answer: They were produced by another artist

This was one of the only recorded instances of Elmyr selling forgeries that were not of his own creation. Selling some reproductions he had discovered in an earlier visit to Budapest proved to be a big mistake. The fraud was soon detected, and Elmyr fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution on charges that included mail and telephone fraud.

While there he got entangled in a murder case, fled back to Miami, and kept a fairly low profile. For a while, anyway.
8. A Texas oil magnate named Algur Hurtle Meadows is believed to have had one of the world's largest private collections of fake paintings, although that was not his intention when purchasing them. What art dealer informed Meadows that almost all of the paintings in his private collection were counterfeit?

Answer: Klaus Perls

These forgeries were actually sold to Meadows by Fernand Legros, who had become Elmyr's business partner, undertaking the negotiations with prospective clients while Elmyr stayed at home in Ibiza. The resulting charges effectively put an end to the partnership and to Elmyr's career in counterfeiting. At around the same time Ibizan authorities arrested Elmyr on a range of charges that did not include forgery or fraud, since there was no evidence that he had done any of that work while resident in Spain. He spent two months in jail during the autumn of 1968.

None of the other options was known as an art dealer, although each may well have purchased some of Elmyr's work.
9. During the last years of his life, Elmyr de Hory attained something of a celebrity status due to the publication of Clifford Irving's biography and the release of a film about his life called "F for Fake". No rosebuds were injured in the production of this film, the last major film to be released in the 20th century that was directed by what cinematic master?

Answer: Orson Welles

The Orson Welles movie "F for Fake" (released with the French title of "Vérités et Mensonges", or "Truths and Lies") is not so much a biography as a cinematic exploration of the nature of reality. It includes documentary footage along with other inserted material. Clifford Irving was included, initially in his role as Elmyr's biographer. During production, however, the scandal of his hoax Hughes autobiography broke, and the film was adjusted to include this hightened blurring of the lines between reality and illusion. The film was initially poorly received, but is now seen as highly significant for its innovative editing style.

In this film, Elmyr stated the case that his work was appreciated as brilliant when it was thought to have come from the brush of a recognized master, and should still be considered as such when it was known to have been painted by him. He has also claimed that he never signed another artist's name to any work, simply imitated their style. It is possible that the signatures were in fact added by one of his business associates to increase the sale value of the works.
10. What percentage of the major contemporary artworks displayed in museums at the start of the 21st century are generally acknowledged as being the work of Elmyr de Hory rather than of the artist whose signature appears on them?

Answer: 2 per cent

Most critics agree that there is around a 2% counterfeit rate remaining undetected. It could be more, as his work was so close in style to that of those he imitated that experts are divided on a number of works. If his claim to have produced well over a thousand fakes is true, then the percentage of exhibited works in post-impressionist, fauvist and early cubist collections could be as high as 25-50%.

During the 1970s, Elmyr achieved some success with his own paintings. In 1976, facing extradition to France and a possible long jail sentence, Elmyr died from an overdose of sleeping pills. Or perhaps he only staged his suicide to escape and live in oblivion elsewhere. Following his death or disappearance, his works (both those he produced as the work of others and those he sold as his own) became significantly more valuable, to the point that forgeries of his counterfeits have appeared on the market. Now that's blurring the lines between life and art!
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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